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PLoS One. 2010 Sep 27;5(9):e13005. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013005.

Expression of adipose microRNAs is sensitive to dietary conjugated linoleic acid treatment in mice.

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Department of Fundamental Biology and Health Sciences, University of the Balearic Islands and CIBER de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain.



Investigation of microRNAs (miRNAs) in obesity, their genetic targets and influence by dietary modulators is of great interest because it may potentially identify novel pathways involved in this complex metabolic disorder and influence future therapeutic approaches. This study aimed to determine whether miRNAs expression may be influenced by conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), currently used to induce fat loss.


We determined retroperitoneal adipose tissue (rWAT) expression of five miRNAs related to adipocyte differentiation (miRNA-143) and lipid metabolism (miRNA-103 and -107) and altered in obesity (miRNA-221 and -222), using the TaqMan®MicroRNA Assay (Applied-Biosystems). In the first experiment, mice were fed with a standard fat diet and orally treated with sunflower oil (control group) and 3 or 10 mg CLA/day for 37 days. In the second experiment, mice were fed with a high fat diet for 65 days. For the first 30 days, mice received the same doses of CLA described above and, from that time onwards, animals received a double dose. Results showed that expression of selected miRNAs was modified in response to CLA treatment and metabolic status. Interestingly, a strong correlation was observed between miR-103 and -107 expression, as well as miR-221 and -222 in both experiments. Moreover, changes in miRNAs expression correlated with several adipocyte gene expressions: miR-103 and -107 correlated with genes involved in fatty acid metabolism whereas miR-221 and miR-222 correlated with the expression of adipocytokines. Regarding the minor changes observed in miR-143 expression, no differences in expression of adipogenic markers were observed.


Although elucidating the functional implications of miRNAs is beyond the scope of this study, these findings provide the first evidence that miRNAs expression may be influenced by dietary manipulation, reflecting or even contributing to the new metabolic state originated by CLA treatment.

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